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Barramundi lates calcarifer
aka: Barra,

 Photo: © Stuart Tremain

The iconic Aussie sport fish. Barramundi is an Aboriginal word meaning 'river fish with large scales'.

Widely distributed in the northern tropical and subtropical zones of Australia. (Saltwater Crocodiles too.)

In Australia, barramundi are distributed in coastal and fresh waters in the tropical northern half of Australia, from the Ashburton River in Western Australia to the Noosa River in Queensland. Barramundi are both wild caught and farmed.


Wild-caught barramundi are available from February through to October, but the main season is February to April. Barramundi can reach up to 1.5m and 50kg in weight.

Over the past few decades there has been a considerable increase in the farming and breeding of monster freshwater barra, found in empoundments like Lake Monduran and Lake Awoonga.


Exciting surface-takes and gill-rattling jumps, white-knuckle lunges for the snags ... all wrapped up in a hard fighting Aussie icon ... what more do you want.

Tackle and methods for Barramundi

What tackle to use
8 - 10wt outfit is ideal, rigged with an intermediate or floating line. Barra have sharp edges on their gill plates which they use to great effect when rattling their gills while jumping clear of the water once hooked. A heavy shock tippet of 40 to 60lb hard type mono is a good idea and it's advisable to check the tippet after each fish.

What flies to use
Pink Thing; White Thing; Fatboy; Bushpig; DK Dancer; Gold Bomber; Clousers; Black and Barred; Poppers and Dahlberg Divers

Fishing strategy
Baitfish imitations mainly but also prawn and crab flies. In turbid water think about bulky flies that push water.

Bright colours are good, pink is a good place to start. The bigger end of size 1/0 to 6/0 is preferred.

A Barra won't usually travel far from cover to attack a fly so the best presentation is as close to structure as possible. If the Barra is in the mood a reflex attack will be triggered however it may require several presentations to get a response (or get frustrated).

It vacuum sucks its prey and briefly 'feels' it in it's mouth before swallowing and turning back for the cover. If takes are being missed you might need to experiment with timing of the strike - sometimes a quick, short, strip and pause is necessary for success.

Most successful approach is 'snag bashing', which means casting the fly real close in amongst logs, trees, subsurface structure and also around gutter outflows in creeks.

Target Barramundi in the following locations:

Target Barramundi with the following guides:

Australian Flyfishing Outfitters

Barra Lodge Arnhemland

Carpentaria Seafaris

Fish Philliskirk

Mark Bargenquast

Melville Island Lodge

One Tree Beach

Paul Dolan

Rod Harrison

Wilderness Island
Links to more information

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=346 http://www.gfaa.asn.au/html/4spe_01.htm?section=species
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